30 Days of Aaliyah

Day 27: Review of New Album (2013)


The thought of this “new” album coming out, worries me. I’m incredibly anxious about it to the point where it makes me sick to my stomach because what I have heard so far….sounds nothing like Aaliyah.

Aaliyah was so far ahead of her time, her music still withstands everything that’s out in in this day and age. The fact people, her own blood relative, would want to tamper with the formula that made her so successful to begin with, leaves me outraged and disgusted. Everything she worked her entire career for, everything she died for, is all of a sudden not good enough for Mr Barry Hankerson. He is not showing any respect to her as an artist, to her as his niece or just as a human being…period. He’s not respecting her art. Her creativity. Or the fact she died for her music. The music she gave her all to. Nor is he respecting his own SISTER. To the point where his own flesh and blood, who is mourning the loss of her daughter and now husband, needs to take her BROTHER to court to be able to get the rights to her deceased daughter’s music. I can understand the music industry is a cutthroat business, I can understand everything isn’t just black & white or even ethical. But this is his sister. At what point do you put your own selfish, money hungry needs aside and do what’s morally correct? You are putting business above family. What would be the purpose to hold onto those unreleased records other than to try and make money off them? Off your niece? Why not allow your own sister to do with them as she sees fit. Why does she need to fight for them? If anyone knew Aaliyah and what she would have wanted….it’s her mother. It’s her brother. It was her father. There is a reason why they don’t want Barry Hankerson in control. 

Barry Hankerson wants to water Aaliyah down to sound exactly like everything and everyone else on the radio. “Update” her sound, he says. As if it even needs updating when the majority of her catalogue still sounds beyond even this time.

I can’t lie and say I don’t want to hear her voice again. That the thought of hearing her voice again, in new ways, doesn’t make me happy in some way. It does…but only in the way she intended it to be heard. Not in the way others think she should sound in 2013. Others who never even knew her…or met her….or had anything to do with her or her career. Whatever they put out now, will follow her name even long after we’re dead and gone. You can’t take it back. You can’t erase it. Once it’s out there, it’s out there for good. It’s attached to her legacy for future generations to come across. 

This is not the way I want to hear her again. The majority of us would much rather an unfinished, original version, then an “updated” version. Watering down her vocals & putting people on her records that really have no place being there. We want Aaliyah as Aaliyah. Not as YOUR vision of Aaliyah. I don’t care if it’s unfinished. I don’t care if she only recorded a hook. Or a verse. I want to see the musical direction she was heading in. And the only way we can see that or hear that…is by leaving things untouched and as they were. You’re not even including any of the people she worked with. I’m not just talking about Timbaland & Missy…but also those who created such a monumental sound for her with ΛΛLIYΛH’. Where are they? Why were the people who played such a big part in her career not even approached? Why weren’t they thought of? Why can’t you put your own petty grievances aside and do right by the ONE person who should matter….Aaliyah? 

I feel if this album isn’t done in the right way…i.e, with her family’s support and input then this album should not be done at all. How do we know that Aaliyah even wanted those recordings to be heard? Maybe she went back over them and decided she didn’t like them. Maybe there are some songs unfinished because she chose to go a different musical route. Maybe the Haughton’s are respecting their daughter’s/sister’s wishes. And as fans of Aaliyah, we should respect the people she held nearest and dearest to her. Which are her family. The woman who gave birth to her. The brother who was her “Everything”. And her father who nicknamed her “Babygirl”. And we need to trust that whatever they are doing, whatever they are not backing or are a part of…is for a reason. How can we push them to get over their grief when we as fans are still mourning? As fans…we should back and support those who were closest to her. We must respect them, treat them with the courtesy they so rightly deserve and trust that they know better than anyone. No, I don’t just care about “new Aaliyah music”. I care ABOUT Aaliyah. I care ABOUT the Haughton’s. Will I lose sleep over not getting “new” music? No. Not a chance. She already left a legacy behind. Three albums and countless soundtracks and remixes that SHE had a say in. That’s the Aaliyah I know and love. Not the Aaliyah they create after her death or circa “2013”.

Blackground/Barry Hankerson are only looking out for their pockets and a means to get themselves out of debt. They are not looking out for Aaliyah. For her family. Or for her fans. How could they be when all they’ve done is lie to us from the very start?

I can understand that you want to garner her a new fan base or introduce her to the younger generation. But repackage her previous albums. Why not bring them out with hard to come by remixes and interviews and HD music videos? Stock her catalogue in stores. Get her albums on iTunes. Spotify. Introduce the younger generation to Aaliyah by giving them AALIYAH…giving them the music that SHE created. Let them fall in love with the music she left behind and not with the music you are creating for her and attaching her name to just to make a quick buck.

They wouldn’t be falling in love with the real Aaliyah…just someone’s watered down version of who they think she should be. 

(Source: aaliyahalways)

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